Project managers' experience and description of decision uncertainty associated with the agile software development methodology: A phenomenological study

by Mayfield, Kathleen M., Ph.D., CAPELLA UNIVERSITY, 2010, 106 pages; 3427057


This qualitative study examined experiences of decision uncertainty for nine project managers of agile software development teams. Agile software development methodologies differ from traditional, plan-driven approaches in that they allow software requirements and design to evolve during the project rather than be defined at the beginning of the project. Agile methodologies acknowledge ambiguity and uncertainty by accommodating and encouraging change. Transition to an agile development methodology can be difficult for a project manager accustomed to a highly structured plan-driven process. The major conclusions derived from this study revealed that there was an initial period of decision uncertainty and anxiety, but that it was only temporary. Even though the research question was about discovering how agile project managers dealt with decision uncertainty, study participants spent most of the time during the interviews describing their positive experiences. This phenomenological study is significant because it addresses a gap in the scholarly literature on how agile project managers experience and describe decision uncertainty. The results of this study can be used to help ease project managers’ transition into agile projects, as well as serve as a foundation to launch future qualitative and quantitative research into this area of project management.

AdviserWayland Secrest
Source TypeDissertation
SubjectsManagement; Occupational psychology
Publication Number3427057

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